Why Your Personal Brand Matters Now

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In the world of social media, it seems more difficult than ever to go viral or build an authentic audience. The reality is that it’s easier than ever before. TikTok has surpassed Google as the most-used search engine in the world. According to Business Insider, “nearly 40% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok and Instagram for internet searches over the traditional Google search”. With the ability to watch short-form videos on both TikTok and Instagram Reels, people are flocking to the apps to shop, learn, and discover new things.

Having a Personal Brand

One way to separate yourself from the online crowd is to establish and develop a personal brand. Gaining an audience is about so much more than looks or doing trends. Yes, those factors can absolutely help influence people to be drawn to you initially, but it is not enough to hold them. A personal brand needs to be authentic rather than replicated. Here are some essential tips to consider when building your own brand:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What three topics will you primarily be posting about?
  • Are you offering a service, selling, educating, or just sharing a passion?
  • Whom are you attempting to connect with?
  • Who are similar influencers within your niche?

Once you take the time to consider all of these questions, you can begin to narrow down your own brand and approach. It is always helpful to look to others in the space who have done similar things to get an idea of what works, what doesn’t, and how you can approach it differently.

Characteristics of Influencers

TikTok paved the way for the vulnerability of influencers to have a real impact. Previously, Instagram was built on a world of people curating their lives and only showing the best parts, be it golden sunsets, fake smiles, or photoshopped faces and bodies. During COVID, TikTok exploded as the most-downloaded app. With people being isolated the world over, the app allowed a new way to connect, vent, relate, and find relief with strangers.

It also opened up a platform for influencers to be vulnerable about their struggles. People were taking to the app to cry and share their stories, whether it was mental health, physical health, relationship issues, or anything in between. This started to trend and has not stopped since. Audiences connect with someone who is raw and honest and shows all aspects of their lives, not just the polished, perfect ones. Instagram soon took note and created the option for Reels for its users to have the same ability to share videos of their lives, trends, shops, services, and so on.

No matter what an influencer’s niche is, the ones that connect the most with their audience are being authentic to themselves. They aren’t trying to fit into a box anymore. Gone are the days of needing to use photoshop or do a face full of makeup to be a trending influencer. Some of the most popular influencers today are completely raw – no makeup, open about their weight, mental health, addictions, and life struggles. Those that can weave this part of their lives into their content and story-telling have built an authentic brand with a broad reach.

Fool Proof Your Brand

Once you hone in on who you are and what parts of your lives paint the complete picture for what you want to share online, you will start to see this resonate with an audience. Know that it is not an overnight journey. Often it can take months or even years to build up an audience. As long as you remain true to yourself, your audience, and your brand, it will happen. Be consistent with posting and the type of posts you do. 

Connecting with your audience by replying to comments and reaching out to other influencers in your space is also imperative. Collaborate with other influencers to tap into one another’s audiences and establish more credibility. Use relevant hashtags and if you do jump into a trend, make sure it relates to your brand and niche, and you’re not doing it just for the views or likes. The more a presence you can build for yourself, the more established and authentic your brand will become.

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